Fantasy Football Week 8: Top 10 Quarterback Rankings
The quarterback position is frequently home to the top point-getters in fantasy football. Nine of the top 10 current performers in standard scoring to this point of the season are quarterbacks.
Arian Foster, the running back for the Houston Texans, is the only non-quarterback to keep that company entering Week 8.
During Week 8, a lot of the top quarterbacks have bad matchups in terms of fantasy points allowed by the defenses that they will face on Sunday.
It’s important, therefore, to keep an eye on quarterbacks’ matchups before blindly throwing Cam Newton into your lineup and expecting fantasy fireworks against a fantastic Chicago Bears defense on the road.
Sure, it could happen—but there are safer options out there.
Before getting into the top 10 fantasy quarterbacks for Week 8, here are the guys that didn’t make the cut.
11. Eli Manning, New York Giants (at Dallas Cowboys)
12. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (at Chicago Bears)
13. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys (vs. New York Giants)
14. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears (vs. Carolina Panthers)
15. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (vs. Seattle Seahawks)
16. Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns (vs. San Diego Chargers)
17. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams (vs. New England Patriots in London)
18. Matt Hasselbeck, Tennessee Titans (vs. Indianapolis Colts)
19. Mark Sanchez, New York Jets (vs. Miami Dolphins)
20. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (at New York Jets)
21. Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders (at Kansas City Chiefs)
22. Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers (at Arizona Cardinals)
23. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (at Detroit Lions)
24. Brady Quinn, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Oakland Raiders)
25. John Skelton, Arizona Cardinals (vs. San Francisco 49ers)
26. Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars (at Green Bay Packers)
10. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
Rivers hasn’t had a great start to the season. He’s thrown for 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions. But coming off a bye week against the Cleveland Browns, he’s got a good chance to do well in fantasy football in Week 8.
The Browns have surrendered three passing touchdowns to quarterbacks in four games this season. Conversely, they’ve only picked off multiple passes in two games.
Cleveland’s best defensive back, Joe Haden, is a cornerback—meaning he won’t be involved with covering Rivers’ No. 1 target (tight end Antonio Gates) on a regular basis.
9. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Luck’s Week 8 opponent, the Tennessee Titans, have allowed multiple passing touchdowns in every game but one this season.
Luck also represents one of the more mobile quarterbacks that the Titans will have faced to this point in the year—Minnesota’s Christian Ponder and Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers are the others.
Tennessee is riding a three-game interception streak, but Luck has been able to produce big fantasy days even while turning the ball over.
8. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Ryan’s incredible start has slowed a bit recently. His last outing was a one-touchdown, three-interception effort at home against the Oakland Raiders.
Now he’ll see the Philadelphia Eagles after both teams’ bye week. Philadelphia wasn’t a great matchup for fantasy quarterbacks to go against before firing its defensive coordinator.
Yet, Ryan’s weapons might prove too much for the Eagles defense to handle—as they have for the rest of the league. Philly has allowed at least one passing touchdown in each of its last five games.
7. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles
On the other side of the ball in the Eagles/Falcons matchup, Vick faces a defense that has mixed results against mobile fantasy quarterbacks.
Matt Cassel ran for 20 yards and a touchdown on four carries in Week 1, and Cam Newton ran nine times for 86 yards and a touchdown in Week 4.
Robert Griffin III only got one carry for seven yards before getting knocked out of the game in Week 5. If Vick doesn’t suffer the same fate as Griffin—and hopefully, he will not—the Eagles’ dual-threat QB should have a strong fantasy performance on Sunday.
6. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Brady’s matchup with the St. Louis Rams isn’t the definition of favorable: St. Louis has allowed seven passing touchdowns and picked off eight passes.
However, the Rams got three touchdowns and 342 yards put on them by Aaron Rodgers in Week 7 at home and—despite the fact that this is a “home” game for St. Louis—they will not be in the Edward Jones Dome in Week 8.
Rather, the Week 8 contest will take place thousands of miles away in London, England.
Brady has thrown multiple touchdown passes in three of the last four weeks and will look to make it four of five on Sunday.
5. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Big Ben hasn’t thrown for multiple touchdowns in a game since Week 3, but his Week 8 opponent should allow him to change that.
The fewest number of passing yards that the Washington Redskins have allowed in a game this season is 299. They’ve picked off one or two passes in every game this year, but they’ve also allowed multiple touchdown passes in five of seven games.
Without Rashard Mendenhall behind him, Roethlisberger should be in line to fling the football around in Week 8.
4. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
Fantasy’s top scorer has a tough test in Week 8. He’ll be on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who haven’t allowed a 300-yard passer in 2012.
Of course, RGIII doesn’t have to throw for 300 yards to have a great fantasy day. What he does need to do is protect the football; the Steelers have forced five quarterback turnovers in their last four games.
Pittsburgh has only seen two relatively frequent rushing quarterbacks this year: Tim Tebow and Michael Vick. Tebow had one carry for 22 yards against its defense, and Vick carried the ball five times for 16 yards but lost two fumbles.
3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Brees has thrown for three or more touchdowns in all but one game this season. The Denver Broncos have allowed six passing touchdowns and intercepted two passes in three home games this season.
Denver should be without one of its starting cornerbacks, Tracy Porter, in this game.
Even if Porter was suiting up, Brees would be a must-start quarterback this week. Aside from the Broncos’ fantastic performance against Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers in Week 6, they have forced just two turnovers on the season.
Rivers turned the ball over six times.
2. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
Manning is also a must-start quarterback as a guy who has thrown for 11 touchdowns and one interception in his last four games.
His matchup with the New Orleans Saints makes him an even more attractive option in Week 8.
Manning threw for 300-plus yards in each of his last four and three touchdowns in each of his last three appearances for the Denver Broncos.
The Saints, meanwhile, have surrendered more than 350 passing yards in each of their last two games and given up nine passing touchdowns in the last three.
1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Simply put, Rodgers is on fire.
He has thrown for 16 touchdowns in his last four games, only turning the ball over twice in that span and four times on the year.
His upside is unlimited, as the Green Bay field general threw for 12 touchdowns in his last three contests—and all were on the road.
In Week 8, Rodgers and the Packers are up against a Jacksonville Jaguars defense that has picked off a pass in each of its last four appearances, but also allowed two passing touchdowns in three of the four.
Its opponents during that span were Andrew Luck, Andy Dalton, Jay Cutler and Carson Palmer.
Rodgers is a better NFL quarterback and certainly a more dynamic fantasy player than any of those guys.